Regatta IT – A weekend to remember

For two days, a part of the NXTHUB team was in Constanta, attending the second edition of Regatta IT. The concept? Each IT company gets a boat and a skipper and the team has to act as crew in order to win the race.

When we first heard about this sailing competition, we got excited right away. Of course we don’t think that IT and sailing necessarily go well together, but it seemed fun and we fully embraced the idea.

Here’s how it went:

1    Day one

We eagerly departed from Bucharest at 6:00 AM, GoPro in hand. Wearing our NXTHUB logo embroidered t-shirts, we already felt like a crew.

At 9:30 we arrived at the very animated Marina LifeHarbour, where dozens of people from other crews were drinking coffee or getting their yachts ready. We quickly found our boat and occupied our rooms below the deck. We and the people from the FORD company were randomly assigned the Santa Clara yacht. And because we never slept on a sailing boat before, it was then when we found out that brought way too much luggage.

While we were drinking our coffee, we got a briefing about sailing best practices. We heard the guy say “I have 20 minutes, maybe 40, to teach you how to sail” and we didn’t know whether we should be amused or worried.

Our head filled with weird words as the main sailing maneuvers and the elements of the ship got explained to us. And the sailing slang is even weirder in Romanian. The fire is not fire, it’s the mainsail of the boat, smoke is not smoke, and so on. I’ll just leave some here, in Romanian, just so you get the point: babord, tribord, prova, pupa, coca, chilie, randa, ghiu. Those were totally alien terms that we had to understand, memorize and react to on the boat.

After this super quick training, we set sail. From 10:30 to 13:00 we just trained, and this is when we had the most fun. We changed places and experimented until every member of the team was familiar with the steering wheel, rigging, and ballast.

After that, the off-shore race started. This was really intense for us. At first, we had loads of questions: „What the bleep are we supposed to do?”; „So...where are we supposed to go?”; „Uhm, where are the other boats?”; „Why are we heading in that direction?”; „How many hotels can we see on the shore?”; „What are we going to do now?”; „Now what?”. However, as we got overcome by seasickness, the questions slowly stopped.

Having seasickness was a surprise for us, we didn’t expect it and it certainly slowed us down. Six hours later we got to the finish line, and then headed to the harbor where we had dinner and „partied like a skipper”. Only some of us had more energy left than others.

Afterwards, we went to sleep on the boat, a first for our team. We were lulled by the sea and it was pretty damp, but it certainly was the right ending for this crazy day.

2    Day two

After waking up at about 9:00, we had coffee and breakfast and got ready for the official start of Regatta IT 2017, at 11:00.

This time we were better prepared, seasickness pills at hand. We had less experience than other crews, so we wanted to make sure that at least our bodies were not going to betray us.

There were 3 races, about an hour long, way shorter than the one on the day before. We were focused and we did our best, following our skipper’s orders.

After the three races, we went back to the harbor where we had dinner and the awards show. We could see how everybody was tired but also happy and anxious to see the winners.

The result? We ended up in the last place, but we’re not upset since we can certainly award ourselves the first prize for fun.

Next year? We can guarantee that we are going to be there! With a bigger team, more experience and the will for a rematch. Brace yourselves, NXTHUB is coming! :)

Big thanks to Softlead for this opportunity to get out of our comfort zone and participating in this awesome, superbly organized event.